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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

SC asks CBI to verify medical condition of former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar jailed in 1984 riots case

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave said "I have serious reservation about private hospitals and these powerful accused," adding that the apex court had in September last year dismissed Sajjan Kumar's plea seeking interim bail on health grounds.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
August 24, 2021 2:32:15 pm
Sajjan Kumar is serving life imprisonment after the Delhi High Court had convicted him and others in the case on December 17, 2018. (File)

The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the CBI to verify the medical condition of former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar who is serving life imprisonment in an 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and is seeking interim bail on health grounds.

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy issued notice to the CBI on Kumar’s plea and asked it to file an affidavit within a week after verifying his medical condition.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the ex-MP, said Kumar should be taken to a private hospital for treatment as his condition had not been determined at a government hospital here.

“We want somebody from the state to verify it. We want the state to verify what is the medical condition,” the bench observed.

Singh said Kumar was earlier treated by a doctor at a private hospital and he could be treated there.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the complainant in the matter, said that Kumar had got anticipatory bail from the high court in 2010 and he was sent to jail only after he was convicted by the high court. “This is shocking,” he told the bench, adding that people were slaughtered during the riots.

“I have serious reservation about private hospitals and these powerful accused,” Dave said, adding that the apex court had in September last year dismissed Kumar’s plea seeking interim bail on health grounds.

When Singh said that Kumar is in a “very precarious condition”, Dave said in March last year he was examined by an AIIMS board. They all get into precarious condition after slaughtering people, Dave said.

“This is a precarious condition itself that he is in jail. That itself is a precarious condition,” the bench observed.

As Singh said irresponsible statements should not be made, Dave argued “it is not irresponsible, it is a serious matter”. Singh said he had not argued anything on merits.

“Issue notice. Counsel for the state accepts notice. The medical condition of the petitioner be verified and affidavit be filed within a week,” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on September 6.

Kumar is serving life imprisonment after the Delhi High Court had convicted him and others in the case on December 17, 2018.

The high court had reversed the acquittal of Kumar by the trial court in 2013 in the case related to killings of five Sikhs in the Raj Nagar Part-I area in Palam Colony in southwest Delhi on November 1-2, 1984, and burning down of a gurdwara in Raj Nagar Part-II.

The riots had broken out after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984 by her two Sikh bodyguards.

In its verdict, the high court had convicted and sentenced Kumar to imprisonment for “remainder of his natural life” in the case saying the riots were a “crime against humanity” perpetrated by those who enjoyed “political patronage” and aided by an “indifferent” law enforcement agency.

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